Nuclear power plants and military bases must be vigilant about who is walking around their facilities. While retina scanners and biometric fingerprinting can help monitor who enters secure areas, such monitoring is not continuous. Further, these traditional identification systems are invasive and pose privacy risks since the individuals’ data is stored on these biometric systems.
A solution may be found in bio-soles that are no thicker than a common foot pad sold in pharmacies. Research is being conducted by Autonomous ID in Canada and Carnegie Mellon University’s Pedo-Biometrics Lab, in Pittsburgh, to perfect special shoe insoles that can help monitor access to high-security areas. Unlike traditional identification systems, the individuals’ data remains on the bio-soles.
The concept is based on research that shows each person has unique feet and ways of walking. Sensors in the bio-soles check the pressure of feet, monitor gait, and use a microcomputer to compare the patterns to a master file for that person. If the patterns match, the bio-soles go to sleep. If they don’t, a wireless alarm message is activated.
After four years of research, these bio-soles know within three steps if the right person is wearing the shoes. According to company testing, these bio-soles have achieved an accuracy rate of more than 99%. Further testing is being conducted to take into account how a person with an injury or fatigue adjusts his walking as well as to distinguish one twin from another.